There are a large number of options available for telecom providers if you own or are part of a business in the UK. Each of these providers offers a different level of service and pricing, which will, therefore, be suited for different businesses.
For these reasons it is important to look for a provider with a good idea in your head of what level of service you require before approaching them for quotes, to ensure that you get the best possible service and that it fulfils all of your business and communication needs.
There are a few things you should look for to determine what you need, and they will save you time and money in the long run if you think about them now.
Telecom Service Provider Considerations
First, you need to reflect on whether or not you need a large number of different lines. Many companies will charge you by the line, but will have cheaper rates if you are working with a smaller number of lines. On the other hand, if you need a large number of lines, you should look for a company that will give you a bulk discount. This could amount to thousands of pounds in savings each month, depending on the size of your infrastructure.
Next, you will need to know if you want to port over your existing number(s), or if you want to be assigned a new one. If you have a large established customer base, you are going to want to port over your number(s), keeping it easy for them to stay in contact with you and save you the hassle of contacting them all to inform them of the changes. Furthermore, this will also save you the hassle of having to order new business cards, stationary and promotional materials with your old number on.
One solution to this hassle if you really need or want to get a new number is to pay to keep the old number, but then just have it diverted to the new number. This way, anyone calling the old number will still reach you directly without even noticing an interruption or change.
However, if you are trying to change the direction of your company or re-brand, you may want to change your number, giving you a new lease on life. Most companies will port over your number for free, but it is still worth checking as there are a few that will charge a fee for this service.
The next thing you want to consider is the option of hiring out an answering service. If you want an answering service that is always available, you may be able to get in contact with the telecommunications company to add this into your package. However, the majority of enterprises do not offer this service, making it necessary to look for one that does if you are in need of this service. This service can be especially useful if you own a business that requires a significant amount of customer support.
Next, you will want to consider bundling your plan for a better value. If you use the internet for communication, you may find that your favourite company already offers a plan that will include both.
This will often give you access to business only speeds and lines that will always be available, even when there are outages elsewhere. This may even come with a different technical support team, making it a good idea to go through a well-known company.
It is also important to consider whether your business will require mobile phones for staff and to what extent they will be needed. If your company relies on the use of mobile phones quite heavily then a big consideration as to which provider you go with will be the level of coverage that they can provide.
Here is a good video to help you understand which UK providers have the best coverage in the UK.
Overall, there are a huge number of options for telecommunication providers in the UK. Of that number, most are more than happy to work with businesses, tailoring their plans and services to meet and exceed the needs that you have.
Often, it will not be necessary to go with one of the big providers, such as BT, TalkTalk or Virgin, to name but a few.
You will be surprised at how much smaller, local telecoms companies can actually offer a more competitive rate and personalised service. Be sure to look at their reviews from other business owners who have used their services and go with one that is well established and has a good reputation in the marketplace and your local area.
The telecoms industry is an extremely competitive marketplace. Therefore, there is a huge emphasis on competitive pricing and customer service.
Although the bigger companies such as BT do still dominate the marketplace, there is not as much restriction of choice as there once was, making it possible for business owners to choose alternatives to BT services and the other big players.
These smaller companies can offer these competitive services through deals and associations that they have with the bigger companies. Furthermore, to make their services even more attractive to business owners, they commonly strive to offer a more personalised service and a high standard of customer care, which is more difficult for the bigger companies to do.
For example, a small, local firm will be more likely to be able to get to know you on a more personal level, often visiting you personally at your premises if and when you have the need.
One of the biggest benefits above everything else with a smaller telecoms firm is that your call will not be routed halfway around the world when you call in for technical assistance.
All this is not to say that the big players in the marketplace do not provide a good service; they certainly do. However, it mostly comes down to personal preference, pricing and the level of service you require from your provider.
So, there are several things to think about when it comes to choosing the correct provider for your business. It is important to get this right at the beginning as you will most likely be tied into a contract once you make a commitment to go with a provider.
Think through each aspect of your business, what needs you have, the size of your infrastructure, what kind of features you will need and of course, your budget. Writing this all down clearly on a piece of paper will enable you to reach a suitable decision more easily.
Then, you may want to shop around online and compare a few companies and take a look at their reviews. You can visit a site like uswitch.com to see comparisons of the top providers in the UK. Then, with this information you can also start to research your smaller local providers and make a comparison to find the best ones for you and your business needs. From this point, you will then need to start calling a few companies to get individual quotes tailored for you and your business.